Johannesburg - EFF national chairperson advocate Dali Mpofu could face criminal prosecution for allegedly admitting on national TV that he had encouraged voters to cast their votes twice during last week’s elections.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said police were investigating politicians for their alleged involvement in encouraging their supporters to vote more than once.
But both Cele and Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole avoided confirming that Mpofu was one of the suspects being investigated following his post-election comments on national TV on Thursday.
Cele and Sitole were speaking during the briefing of the justice, crime prevention and security cluster on the outcome of the elections.
While the two confirmed the possible investigation of politicians, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appeared irked by the repeated questions from the media.
She also sharply differed with Cele on whether to confirm to the media that politicians were under investigation.
Mapisa-Nqakula said the police should be given an opportunity to fully investigate the claims, including allegations against politicians.
“You can’t ask politicians these questions. The decision to prosecute anybody on allegations of voting twice will be taken by the police and the National Prosecuting Authority. It is unfair to ask politicians to comment on the matter.
“If a decision is taken to prosecute any of the politicians, the police minister will convene a press conference and inform the media,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.
The furore was caused when Mpofu on Thursday last week was asked to comment on allegations of people voting twice, and in his reply said: “This has now been conclusively proven, that many people were able to vote more than once. When I received reports of this in the Eastern Cape yesterday, I actually asked guys to go and test the system, and I was speaking to somebody from the DA later, when I arrived here, before the closing, and I asked them to do the same thing and I think they did it in Soweto.
“I don’t know conclusively, but the person I spoke to said actually the tester was able to vote three times. So it’s crazy; it means someone could have voted 10 times,” Mpofu said.
While Mpofu claims to have encouraged his supporters in the Eastern Cape to breach the Electoral Act, no such incidents were reported or investigated by the police in that province.
Cele only confirmed that 20 people were arrested after attempting to vote for a second time during the elections.
He said: “Nineteen suspects were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal, of which 16 were alleged to have transgressed in Dannhauser, two in Hluhluwe and one in Port Shepstone, while the twentieth suspect was arrested in Douglasdale in Gauteng.”
Cele added: “The swift response in investigating and arresting all the suspects who were alleged to have committed electoral fraud is commendable.
“In relation to alleged multiple voting, a total of eight cases and 24 arrests were noted.”